If you are in Koh Phi Phi it is likely you will want to venture out the side of the hill to check out some of the incredible views. Find out absolutely everything you need to know about the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint such as how to get there, what to expect, entry fees, how far you can go up, and more important information!
If you are planning your backpacking adventure around Thailand, or perhaps you are there now, it’s highly likely you would have heard of the famous Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint. This spot has been plastered over Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube for years now. It less of a secret slice of paradise and more like an influencers photo op.
Though, nonetheless, it is still well worth the visit. I will also let you know the best way to do the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint hike to avoid the crowds and not get knocked out by someone’s selfie stick.
This is the best way to take in the beauty of Koh Phi Phi and really understand the landscape. From swaying palm trees to the crystal clear water this island is paradise. Though be aware it is heavily influenced by more of a party crowd. Once evening hits and the slightest bit of darkness falls the streets are transformed into bucket selling vendors.
So, let get into all the important information about visiting the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint. From how to get there, entry fees, what to expect, and more. This is certainly one spot to check out while backpacking Koh Phi Phi!
Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint: All You Need To Know About Visiting
- Why Visit The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
- How To Get To Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
- Entrance Fee For The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
- When Is The Best Time To Visit The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint?
- Phi Phi Viewpoint 1
- Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint 2
- Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint 3
- My Experience at The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
- What To Pack
- Important Info To Know
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Why Visit The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
Apart from being one of the most popular things to do here in Koh Phi Phi, the viewpoint is the perfect way to appreciate the surrounding beauty on the island. With views over the isthmus (the low-lying strip on land between the two hills) and the crystal clear waters on either side, this is truly somewhere you can appreciate mother nature.
This is also one of the few things on Koh Phi Phi which is actually cheap. If you haven’t heard yet Koh Phi Phi is one of the most expensive places in Thailand. Thanks to being an island, as well as a popular tourist destination this has driven up prices over the years enough to make any backpacker’s eyes water.
I will get into the exact entry fee further below. Though Koh Phi Phi is a relatively small place and if you don’t have a loaded wallet it can be kind of hard to keep yourself entertained. I mean we all love a good beach day, but after 3 in a row, you kind of want to mix it up a bit.
As the saying goes, if you put the hard work in you will reap the rewards. The same goes with discovering the Koh Phi Phi viewpoints. There are actually 3 different viewpoint spots up the track, each one with something a bit special.
How To Get To Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
Luckily Koh Phi Phi is a relatively small island and everything is pretty easy to get to. There is a whole heap going on here in such a small space that some people find it quite overwhelming. That was exactly my experience which was why it wasn’t one of my favorite spots in Thailand. I also came from neighboring spots such as Koh Lanta and Railay Beach which had a much more relaxed vibe which I loved.
Though as with any viewpoint, as the name suggests, you will need to get to higher ground. Looking at the stairs from the beginning of the Phi Phi Viewpoint hike it may seem a little a lot daunting. Though that part you are looking at is the worse, so don’t let it frighten you to bad. If you don’t feel like you can hike it then luckily there are a couple of other option which will get you to the viewpoint.
Trust me, it will be worth it for that view!
Hiking To Phi Phi Viewpoint By Stairs
Yes, as mentioned above they can look quite scary. Though remember you aren’t in any rush. Take your time and bring plenty of water. The rest breaks can be plentiful, we are not judging. If you haven’t already walked past the entrance to the walk I highly recommend downloading Maps.Me offline to assist with finding it.
I mean Koh Phi Phi is a small place, but all these small maze-like streets can quickly merge into one confusing blob where it feels like you’re walking around in circles.
You will want to walk east from Tonsai Village towards the outskirts of town. There is a sign for “viewpoint 1” as well as a “tsunami evacuation route” that mixed with some very steep stairs will show you are in the correct place.
Once you are on the correct path it’s very hard to get lost as this is a well-worn track.
The second option is to have a motorbike taxi take you to the very top. The driver will take you through all these little dirt roads through the jungle and up to each of the viewpoints. There are not too many motorbike drivers around in Koh Phi Phi so it may take a while to find someone.
Overall the journey should cost between $19.00- $32.00 600 THB- 1000 THB. It is pretty pricey for what it is. That is why I recommend hiking. Even if you do take a while, this isn’t a race and you can stop as many times as you would like.
Walk Along The Road
Your last option to get to the Phi Phi Viewpoint is simply to walk along the road rather than taking the staircase. Now be aware this will take considerably longer. Though the bonus is that it will be a lot less strenuous, and if you have bad knees this could make a big difference.
If you want to take the road up I highly recommended downloading the offline map of Koh Phi Phi on Maps.Me. This way you can use it to point yourself in the right direction. This will definitely get you off the tourist part of the island and allow you to start exploring a more local side.
Entrance Fee For The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
The entrance fee for Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint is $0.96 / 30 THB. This is payable when you get to the first viewpoint. Do not try the hike to the viewpoint without any money as you will be turned around and asked to leave.
If you are wanting to go all the way up to the top, viewpoint 3, be aware there is an additional entry fee. This is $0.64 / 20 THB and comes with a well-deserved bottle of water.
All up to visit the 3 viewpoints you will be charged $1.60 / 50 THB.
Be aware that this entry fee can change from time to time depending on who’s working or how they are feeling. This should only change by $0.32 / 10 THB either up or down. It is simply how things work here in Thailand. Make sure you bring a bit more baht than just the minimum for the entry fee to allow yourself to get a well-deserved drink at the top. It is privately owned land and this helps the owners keep up the maintenance of the tracks.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint?
If you are anything like me you will be wanting to plan your visit around avoiding all the thousands of other travelers also visiting this lookout point. This is the ultimate Instagram spot when you are visiting so be aware it is very likely you won’t have the entire place to yourself.
Nonetheless, there are certain thing you can do to avoid a lot of the crowds:
The best time to visit the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoints is between 10am and 2pm. This is when the sun will be behind you resulting in a bright blue sea on either side of the island. Once mid-afternoon hit the sun has moved to the side of the island creating blown out white water in photographs and quite harsh shadows.
In my opinion, the earlier the better when it comes to doing the viewpoint hike. I recommend beginning your walk-up at around 9am. This is when the majority of the island is still asleep recovering from a hangover. When we visited this is what we did and there was only the ticket person and one other couple there.
In terms of visiting for sunset, the best spot to watch this would be at the top lookout, viewpoint 3. The other viewpoints are based more on the middle of the island, whereas the sun sets on the side. Just be aware you definitely won’t be alone watching the sunset from up here.
Phi Phi Viewpoint 1
Phi Phi Viewpoint 1 is the first spot you will stumble upon after a steep, seemingly never-ending, walk up the staircase. Though as painful as this may seem this hike should only take around 20 minutes. Also known as “I Love Phi Phi Viewpoint” thanks to the colourful large statement, this is certainly the most popular lookout and the easiest to get to.
Here is where you will pay the entry fee as well. Hold onto this ticket as you will need it to enter the second viewpoint. I personally wasn’t a fan of viewpoint 1, the colorful lettering seemed tacky against such a beautiful backdrop. Though each to their own.
If you are just wanting a photo op then you may only find yourself hiking up as far as here. Though if you are wanting more epic views and a bit more nature, keep heading up the hill to our next spot.
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Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint 2
At least the hardest part of the Phi Phi Viewpoint hike is behind you now as you begin the walk up to our second lookout, Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint 2. This should take you around another 20 minutes or so. Though at least the worst is over and the trail is relatively well signposted so you shouldn’t have any issues getting lost.
As you enter the clearing around Viewpoint 2 you will see it is a lot less touristy than the first. Now, this looks like a naturally formed viewpoint among the lush Thai jungle. This is definitely my personal favorite viewpoint as a large set of rocks provides the opportunity to get you that little tiny bit higher for the perfect view over the island.
If you are wanting a break before you hike up even higher again then enjoy a bit of relaxation at the recently built cafe. Of course as with anything with a good view the prices are a bit on the high side. Though this is Koh Phi Phi and prices here are ridiculous to begin with. Nevertheless grab a cold drink and a bit to eat, sit back on their viewing deck or inside with the air conditioning and take in these amazing views!
Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint 3
If you are wanting to get right away from the crowds then head all the way up to the last lookout, Phi Phi Viewpoint 3. The majority of people stop at the second spot, rather than going all the way up so it is a much more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere right at the top.
Be aware that this part of the hike is about the same level of difficulty as the first part. It is rather steep as you navigate your way up the side of the hill.
Once at the clearing, you will need to pay for the second entry fee. Though this does come with a well-deserved bottle of water, which you will no doubt well and truly need at this point. Enjoy endless photo ops here and some epic shots to go on the gram.
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My Experience At The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint
We walked past the staircase entry numerous times during our visit. It always seemed to haunt us as we walked past and up another rather large hill to our accommodation. In all honesty, we were not too fussed about doing the Phi Phi Viewpoint as our hotel had an epic view from the infinity pool. It actually wasn’t until our last day where we had some time between checking out and our ferry departing that we decided to conquer the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoints, and I am glad we did.
Slightly up from our accommodation was a small sign “Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint” and an arrow pointing into the jungle. I mean our accommodation was already partway up the steep hill so why would we want to walk down only to climb up a painful-looking set of stairs? Following the sign, and the barely-there track we ventured through farmland and nearby some local houses. With the help of Maps.Me we managed to navigate these tiny trails, eventually finding ourselves at the ticket point at Phi Phi Viewpoint 1.
Now if you’d read the above you’ll see that I really wasn’t impressed. Actually, I was so unimpressed that we just paid for our tickets and heads straight up the pathway. We were lucky as the jungle walk we had done was not steep at all so we had plenty of energy to continue onwards.
Once we reached Viewpoint 2 this is where I became thoroughly impressed and the inspired photographer inside me awoke. The views were absolutely insane, with the lush green island and bright blue sea surrounding us. Because it was relatively early in the day there was only one other couple here.
Unfortunately, we ran out of time to hike to Viewpoint 3 as we had to go catch our ferry. Also luckily we didn’t continue on as about 40 minutes later it just completely bucketed down. Being stuck up the side of the hill with paths that were quickly becoming wet and slippery mudslides and with a ferry to catch does not sound like an enjoyable time.
This small hike was essentially my only training for the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal where we would find ourselves doing 1 week later. This involved 13 days of hiking the Himilayas, with the highest point at around 5400 meters – higher than Everest Base Camp!
What To Pack
To make the most out of your Phi Phi Viewpoint adventure you will want to make sure you pack accordingly. These are my “must bring items” when you are doing this walk:
Camera: Of course you can’t forget the camera. This is one of the most photographic spots on Koh Phi Phi and up there for all of Thailand as well. Why not join all those Instagrammers and grab a shot of yourself!
Water: You will want to either bring water with you or have enough money to buy yourself a drink. The weather in Thailand is hot and pair that with a steep hill to climb. Your will to left quite thirsty.
Money: Unfortunately very few things in Thailand are free, and this is not one of them. You will want to bring at least 50 THB with you which will cover the entry fee to all 3 viewpoints.
Important Info To Know
Let’s get into all the other important details you will need to know before walking to the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoints. These bits don’t really fall into any of the other categories, but they are still important to know to make the most out of your visit.
Alcohol At The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint: Could you imagine anything better than after spending a busy day exploring such an incredible island enjoying a cold beer at sunset while taking in the viewpoint. Unfortunately, it’s only ever going to be a dream as no alcohol is allowed at all 3 viewpoints. Be aware that if you choose to ignore this warning and bring some beers with you there are fines up to $32.00 / 1000 THB.
If you are wondering why it is simply because the owners of the land are Muslim. Religion prevents them from selling or consuming alcohol. Many people are Muslim in Southern Thailand thanks to the close proximity with Malaysia. The further south you travel the more common this becomes.
How High Is The Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint: The highest viewpoint is 186 meters or 610 feet above sea level. It may not seem like a lot, but when you are hiking it in the Thai heat it gets pretty exhausting fast.
Are There Monkeys? Hell Yes! And yes, I get it, cuuuuute, but once you’ve experienced the wrath of monkeys they quickly become not cute! It is recommended to not bring food with you as they will quickly snatch it out of your hands. If they also take a fancy to your drink bottle it is best to just wave it goodbye. I mean nothing is a worse mood killer than having to cut your trip short to go get a rabies shot.
Though if you are just staying around the main town in Tonsai Village you won’t see too many of these creatures around.
Other Things To Do In Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi isn’t just a party place, it also has some excellent things to do. Whether you like a bit of exploration, life on the ocean or simply just relaxing, there is something for everyone here.
Visit Maya Bay
The second most popular thing to do here while backpacking Koh Phi Phi, visiting May Bay. This place was made famous by the film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Though throughout the years the number of travelers it attracted was not sustainable. As a result, the Thai government made the move to close it from June to September 2018. Though they quickly realized this was not enough time and have closed Maya Beach indefinitely.
Nevertheless, it is still possible to visit, you just cannot steep foot on the shoreline. The best way to do this is by an organized day trip or a private longtail boat. All these are bookable once you are on the island, seriously there are touts everywhere!
Unfortunately, the only access to Viking Cave is via boat. Though if you have booked a day trip it is likely you will drive past here. This impressive cave is located on the northeastern side of the island. It is naturally formed on the side of an impressive limestone cliff.
For the best snorkeling, I recommend heading to Hat Yao. This is a beach on the south coast of Phi Phi Don and just a 30-minute walk from Ton Sai. Once there you can spot clownfish and if you’re lucky you may even see a black-tipped reef shark!
The perfect way to finish off a busy bay on Koh Phi Phi is by grabbing a drink and watching the fire show. These happen each night on Loh Dalum Beach. There are a handful of bars along the beach and each one puts on a fire show once nightfall hits.
Kayaking To Monkey Beach
One popular activity while backpacking Koh Phi Phi is visiting Monkey Beach. Sure you can easily hire a private longtail boat to take you there. But, for those looking for more of an adventure, why not hire a kayak?
There are plenty of places offering rentals on both sides of the island. Though for the purpose of visiting Monkey Beach you will want to hire it from the Loh Dalum Beach Side. The rental should cost you approximately $12.70 / 400 THB.
Bamboo Island may not be as picturesque as Koh Phi Phi with the steep limestone cliffs. Though you can never go too wrong with a secluded sandy white beach. The waters are crystal clear so make sure to bring your snorkel mask for a spot of snorkeling!
As the name suggests, you may not be exactly alone while visiting Mosquito Island. Though the mosquito population should only be an issue if you are visiting during dusk. If you are coming for the day and the sun is out you will be fine.
Where To Stay In Koh Phi Phi?
Everything in Koh Phi Phi is relatively close together. There is the main town, where you arrive, and then all the accommodation is spread throughout here as well as up the hills.
I stayed in literally the cheapest “resort” I could find. Knowing I wouldn’t be partaking in the drunken parties I decided I would book a place with an infinity pool with an amazing view. It ended up costing us around $25.00 per night, which split between the two of us that were traveling was a pretty good price at $12.50 per night.
Though this place is no longer operating, and I think that may be a good thing. Reviews were seriously not good, and even though I had a pretty good time, it was obvious not everyone had this experience. Also, it was the first and only time I saw a print-out list of the cost of literally EVERYTHING in the room and how much we’d be charged if we broke it. Fantastic.
Here are my top picks for Koh Phi Phi:
A recently opened hostel with spacious air-conditioned dorm rooms. Starting room $16.00 per night.
A modern beautiful resort with a big pool. Double rooms starting from $26.00 per night with a pool view.
A beautiful resort for just $20.00 per night. They offer budget rooms for travelers which are also air-conditioned.
If you have a bit more money to spend why not check this out. From $100.00 per night for a 5 star resort.
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